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A year at Sauce....

My name’s Tomasz Kopec and as of writing this post, I’m a Junior Software Developer for Sauce.

A year ago today I joined Sauce as a graduate Software Developer. Without any in-office work experience, I didn’t know what to expect. I had a mental image of getting into a stereotypical office, with a suit-and-tie dress code, sitting up straight at my desk in my cubicle, executing code-monkey tasks, from 9 to 5, every single day. I wasn’t looking forward to leaving student life behind and getting into that monotonous lifestyle. Sauce has proven that my preconceptions did not apply to them, exceeding my expectations every step of the way. During the next short 80 thousand words essay I will go into detail on how they did it, so buckle up.

Comfort is priority - this might sound like a first world problem, but I was really concerned about being able to sit in a chair for some 8 hours every single day, in a professional working environment - i like to put my feet up on my chair, sit in the most awkward positions, and get comfy while i work. I can’t do without it. When I turned up to work wearing a smart shirt and trousers on my first day, one of the company directors sounded almost like he was telling me off when he said “you look nice and all, but it’s important that you’re comfortable while you’re at work”. Not many people believe me when I tell them I wear my trackies and a T-shirt while putting my bare feet up on the office sofa. Picture related.

The view from the Sauce office

Why can’t I hold all the experience - being a graduate developer without any specializations, in conjunction with the fact that Sauce is still a fairly small company, I get to dip my toes in every part of software development process; everything ranging from customer meetings, through planning, front-end and back-end development, testing, support, and all the way up to deployment and deliverance of the finished product. The suggested size of a CV is not long enough to fit all the things I have been exposed to - and that has only been my first year working here.

Real work for real clients - one thing I absolutely hated about uni were the high expectations and standards with zero to little satisfaction return from the amount of hard work put into a project. Yes, your grades depend on it, but once the project was completed, the submission would get marked by an automatic code evaluator, and 99.9% of the time your product would be forgotten and never looked at or used by anyone. During the first 2 weeks of my career, Sauce has given me an opportunity to contribute to a project for Siemens, which is now an award-winning mobile application. Picture related.

Sauce at the Digital Awards

The excitement never stops - Sauce is a consultancy, so we get to work with a variety of different clients and projects. When I first started, I was given a fairly simple project called “Hull Bins” app as a learning tool, which is now currently in closed beta testing, soon to be a product targeting only the whole city of Hull - no pressure. Ever since, I managed to apply knowledge and experience I’ve gained from Hull Bins to a few of the other projects for even bigger clients such as Ideal Boilers (smart heating app), Siemens and the NHS.

Employers do care - you are not a vapid soulless creature incapable of human emotion with a hollow metal chest, and people here at Sauce appreciate that. Happy employee equals productive employee. Whether it’s providing smaller perks such as keeping the mini fridge always full of soft drinks and friday afternoon beers, or if you’re in need of new hardware such as multiple monitors to make your job easier - Sauce delivers.

I feel extremely lucky being part of Sauce, and as this is my first job after university, it has definitely set some unrealistic standards for me if I was to look for another job in the future; topping this wouldn’t be easy.

See you next time in my retirement post “50 years at Sauce”


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